I thought I'd share with you how I built the false bottom in my emperor enclosure. Instead of gravel,
I'm using an "egg crate" light diffuser panel, window screen, and wicks made from 1/2 inch nylon rope.
It's more complicated, expensive and time consuming than a simple gravel or gravel/screen bottom, but
it's much lighter. I didn't take any pictures when I was assembling my enclosure, so I made a miniature
version from a critter carrier to demonstrate the concept. I hope you find the ideas here useful.
I use spacers cut from 1/2 inch PVC pipe to elevate the egg crate off the bottom of the tank. The spacers
are glued in place with a bit of silicon (I omitted the silicon for this demo.) The egg crate is wrapped with
nylon window screen secured with wire ties. The wicks are made from 1/2 inch nylon rope (the soft kind).
I chose nylon because it wicks water well and won't rot.
Bind the wicks in the middle with wire ties to prevent them from unraveling. When making the wicks, attach the
wire ties first before cutting the rope. Thicker rope would probably have been better but all I had was 1/2 inch.
Cut the egg crate so that it fits snugly against the sides of the enclosure. The window screen is wrapped around
the edges of the egg crate and secured with wire ties. This should prevent your scorpion from getting trapped
under the egg crate or between the egg crate and the screen. These egg crate panels are quite brittle. I found
the best way to cut them is with a pair of diagonal wire cutters.
Insert the wicks through the bottom of the egg crate.
Twist the wick so the end flairs out between the egg crate and the screen.
The tricky part is placing the assembled panel into the tank without having the wicks fall out. I found it easier if you
lay the tank on its side, thus the need to glue down the spacers. The screen does a pretty good job of holding the
wicks in place if you're gentle. If necessary, you can add additional wire ties to the center of the panel to hold the
screen a bit tighter to the egg crate.
The wicks will stay in place once the panel is resting on the spacers and the wicks resting on the bottom of the tank.
You'll also want to install a fill tube in one corner that extends down through the egg crate. I just used a length of
1/2 inch PVC pipe with a diagonal cut on the bottom (not pictured here).
Here's a picture of my false bottom in operation. It seems to be doing a pretty good job. The water level drops
about 1/8 inch a week and the substrate (coco fiber) stays nice and moist. I used 16 wicks for my enclosure which
has a bottom that measures 10x20 inches. I would liked to have used 20 wicks (perhaps more) but I ran out of rope.
Edit: 16 wicks has worked just fine and 12 would probably have been plenty.